School of Vocal Studies and Opera – Audition Requirements

Audition Criteria

  • Vocal quality
  • Breathing
  • Pronunciation
  • Characterisation
  • Musicality
  • Support
  • Intonation
  • Clarity of text
  • Communication skills

Audition Process

For all programmes, with the exception of Repetiteurs, you will need to prepare in advance:

  • Three pieces of your own choice totaling not more than 12 minutes and contrasting in period and style, to be sung from memory
  • a short (maximum two minutes) spoken piece of poetry or prose in Standard English, to be recited from memory or read

In your audition you will also be expected to:

  • Undertake a test of sight-reading ability

Auditions are held in two rounds. An accompanist will be provided for the audition. Candidates chosen to play in round two will be notified at lunchtime. Candidates are advised that auditions are highly competitive and that, on average, only half of the candidates heard in the morning will be selected for round two.

First round (morning)
(Approximately 10 minutes with up to 10 minutes warm up time)
Candidates will sing one piece – you may select the piece you wish to sing. There will be a test of sight-reading ability.

Second round (afternoon)
(Approximately 15 minutes with up to 15 minutes warm up time)
The panel will select two pieces and hear the prepared spoken piece.

There may be exceptional circumstance – e.g. late auditions outside the dedicated audition period, when an audition will consist of one round only when both pieces of repertoire should be presented. In such cases, the auditions will last approximately 20 minutes and candidates will have 20 minutes warm up time. If your audition is one round only, it will be clearly noted on UCAS when your audition time is allocated.

Repetiteurs (postgraduate):
One round only, approximately 30 minutes with 30 minutes warm up.

You will need to play:

  • Piano solo of own choice (5 minutes maximum) from the Early Romantic or Romantic period
  • Two operatic excerpts of own choice (10 minutes maximum) containing more than one character (sing in vocal parts optional)
    You will be required to sight-read a selection of operatic repertoire.

There will also be a brief interview.

Reply to audition invitation

Once you have received an audition/interview date and time, please confirm your attendance via the online RNCM Audition Reply Form.

Auditions by Recording

International students who are unable to attend a live audition can send an audition by recording. This should be submitted online via Acceptd.

For all programmes except Repetiteurs, you will need to record 3 contrasting pieces sung from memory, totalling no more than 12 minutes.

Repetiteurs (postgraduate) will need to record all the pieces that you would perform at a live audition.

The recording should include a 5 minute spoken introduction by the applicant in English.


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